3 Steps, 3 P's, and 5 Seconds

TL:DR | Understanding the philosophy, physics, and psychology of how to swim. Using the 3 simple steps to swimming, and the 5 second 'rule'.

2 min read
3 Steps, 3 P's, and 5 Seconds

Here are some of my best kept secrets, tricks, and overall strategy to teach swimming!

I've talked about the three steps to swimming before, and the 3 "P's" are how I form each one of these newsletters each week. However them all combined is how I truly teach people how to learn how to swim.

For a refresher here are the 3 steps again:

  1. Kicking Legs Straight
  2. Face Down
  3. Arms out, diving back in

Why + Philosophy:

It isn't just about crossing the pool, or getting from point A to point B. Rather it is HOW you get there. Making sure you follow the three steps accordingly, so that your flow of movement is as smooth as possible.

That is my mindset as your instructor, to get you to learn the 3 steps as quickly, and as effectively as possible. So that you can use the least amount of mental or physical energy, as well as learn the movements swiftly.

How + Physics:

While you do need to master the 3 steps in order to DO the movements. We do however need to think about our breathing capabilities.

That comes down to your ability to hold your breathe. Now I find that people can hold it for about 5 seconds before you start to feel the need to breathe. Whether in or out it doesn't matter, you still get that feeling. Now it does originate from the need to expel the CO2, and get that carbon dioxide from your body.

That is where the panic comes from, not the need for more oxygen. Now when you think about it like that, it all starts to make sense. You can start to breathe out after 5 seconds, and since you can do that under water. It allows you to stay under for longer, and in which case allows you to do your 3 steps for longer.

What + Psychology:

We want to get from point a to point b in the easiest way possible, with the least amount of effort. As truthfully every person is inherently lazy, that is how our brains literally operate.

Trying to accomplish our goals, whether big or small, using the least amount of energy possible. It is baked into our DNA, and that is our WHY behind our actions. Doing what we want to accomplish, but in the easiest way.


You just need to understand the philosophy, so that your psychology can play a role in mastering the physics. They all come together, and not always in that order. However that is the flow of thought when it comes to the lessons.

When you hold your breathe for longer and longer, and combine that with adequate breathing methods, then you prolong your ability to stay under. Which gives you more practice time, and thus you level up faster.

Disclaimer: This is advice for people to level up their swimming, or perhaps get started in the first place. While you swim you should make sure you are doing so in a public facility with a lifeguard on duty for safety.

Related Articles

Be a Swimming Generalist
2 min read
Panther, Lion, and Dolphin
2 min read
A Jack of All Swimming Strokes
2 min read
63 - You Can’t Fight the Water
2 min read
62 - Continuous Progress
2 min read


🎉 You've successfully subscribed to PolyInnovator LLC | Official Website for Dustin Miller!